Sarah Fry quickly learned that listening to music while she painted wasn’t going to work.
“I tried to wear headphones, but so many people stopped to talk,” she said.
Fry started painting a mural on the sidewalk in front of Bella Main Street Market on Oct. 2. She didn’t mind when people strolling Main Street stopped to chat, and soon ditched the headphones.
“It’s nice to have people respond,” she said.
The mural, which Fry finished last week, came about from a conversation between Beverly Calder, owner of Bella, and Fry, an artist who works at Bella and does all the paint designs on the store windows.
Their discussion, Calder said, was “about creating beauty — and hopefully an opportunity to smile — as well as to stimulate conversation about playing an active role in democracy and community.”
The mural’s main message is “No time to waste.” Surrounding those words are images tied to Oregon and Baker County: a wagon train, apples, pears, hazelnuts, morel mushrooms, a beaver, a salmon, a swallowtail butterfly, and a branch of Oregon grape.
“We’re all in this together,” Calder said. “I want to stimulate the conversation and celebrate all the things we hold dear. Think about what you like, what you want in Baker, and how you can make it better.”
A checkerboard of black and white squares outlines the colorful elements, and the white spaces will contain these words: trust, equality, opportunity, hope, freedom, honor, and justice.
Fry, who has a bachelor’s of fine arts degree, is using outdoor paint for the mural.
“It’s as permanent as paint can be on a concrete,” she said with a smile. “I’ll probably have to do touch-ups in the spring.”